Friday, July 25, 2008

The Mother of all Depressions

For four days, I was unable to get out of bed. I couldn’t eat. I didn’t care about anything. I wanted to die. Really, I found myself hating my life so much that I began to think putting an end to it was the answer. The last time I felt this way was that dreadful July 4th when I wound up at St. Luke's Adult Psychiatric Unit. So much of what I have been experiencing lately felt all too familiar. Questioning by my ex-partner whether I’ve been using, my anxiety over what seem now to be small and minor issues of life in hyper drive. My partner having no idea how to handle me and my evil, bitchy side that comes out when I'm like this. We fought, screamed, cried and threatened. The choices I have been making haven't been healthy ones. Inside my head, what I was secretly struggling with was the way someone close to me had changed and was moving on with their life. I felt I wasn't.

I wanted something, a pill, a hit, SOMETHING to stop my ability to feel. I listened to pipe organ music for hours and hours on end which usually relaxes me. My ex-partner involved himself with trying to get me to do something to pull myself out of that dark evil place and back into the light.With each attempt I handed him some bullshit line like, “Sure, I’ll get up and take the dogs for a nice long walk” or, “Yeah, I’ll eat something”. Right, right. What did I do? I went back to bed, but only after laying on him how much I miss him and how remorseful I feel for the things I did that drove him to end our 11 year relationship.

My pathetic actions gave him yet another glimpse at how capable I am of beating the fucking shit out of myself for the ways I have hurt him in the past. He threatened to end our relationship as it stands right now- this friendship. "I have forgiven you and you should take a look at what you need to do to forgive yourself" he said. I could see how our interactions were feeling all too familiar to him; me the emotional train wreck seeking a solution or fix to my problems, from him.

Gradually, I started to find myself coming around and feeling better. A combination of things worked. A lot of work was done by me. I wrote down my thoughts and feelings, being as honest as I possibly could with myself in my journal, I read some of my many books that have sustained me through some tough times of painful personal growth. I prayed. I don't know why I didn't think of doing that sooner, but at least now I've raised my awareness about it. Eventually I wrote a blog or two - nothing too heavy though.

From those in my close, inner circle- individuals I consider to be "family of choice", I received many gifts. Words – though harsh from my ex-partner. Love and big "momma" type hugs from a dear friend. Quiet and contemplative reasoning from another dear friend who travels down a similar path of personal growth as me. And finally, understanding and patience from my partner.

May I never allow depression to consume me as much as it has again. I'm back and can see things in a different way. I am learning to re-frame situations and experiences which may trigger negative thinking. I know what tools I must use earlier on in my cycle to avoid a visit again from the mother of all depressions. Heightened anxiety is a precursor to thoughts that are not totally based on reality. I am taking a look at what I need to do to understand self-forgiveness. I can accept the way individuals have changed and moved on with their life and I must work on doing the same in my life. I will not compare my life with my new partner to the life I had with my ex-partner. I am fortunate to have my loved ones by my side and will reach out to at least one of them early on in any future cycle of depression. I am not alone. I will never be alone.

No comments: